Oct 11, 2013

Does email marketing benefit utilities?

3 min
By Amy Morin Email marketing can be a great way for utility companies to attract and retain customers. When used properly, email marketing...

By Amy Morin

Email marketing can be a great way for utility companies to attract and retain customers. When used properly, email marketing can boost profits and educate the community about utility services.

Social Media Links

Email marketing is a great way to announce links to various social media profiles. Utility companies who are involved in social media marketing have an opportunity to connect with customers in a variety of ways.

Many utility companies offer YouTube videos that educate customers. Other companies use Twitter or Facebook to announce outages and service interruptions.

Since most customers don't visit a utility company website often, emailing customers to announce social media campaigns can be a great way to attract their attention. Include links to various social media profiles and explain the benefits of interacting on various social media platforms.

Encourage Online Enrollment

Use email marketing to encourage customers to enroll in online billing. Tell customers about the benefits of receiving online statements.

Online billing reduces paper waste and saves on postage. This can be a huge benefit for utility companies as well as customers.

Email customers to explain how online billing enrollment works. Customers who may be hesitant to enroll may feel more comfortable when the process is explained to them via email.

Create Calls to Action

Each email should serve a purpose. Emails should include a clear call to action that makes the purpose of the emails clear.

For example, invite customers to join your Facebook page or encourage them to take part in a survey in exchange for being entered in a promotional drawing. Show them that your emails are worth their time.

Educate Customers

Balance your promotional emails with education. If you continuously just promote your services, you may get customers unsubscribing from your email services.

However, if you offer them information and education, they will find your email campaigns worthwhile. Offer relevant information that is helpful to your customers.

Giving customers information on the history of your company isn't likely to be worthwhile to them. However, if you offer them information on how they can save on their next bill, you'll likely gain their attention.

Examples of Utilities Using Email Marketing

Xcel Energy is located among many mid-western states. They are active among many social media platforms ranging from YouTube to Twitter.

The company updates their blog regularly. They offer a variety of education and interactive data to customers on their blog.

They allow customers to sign up for their latest email updates. Customers can opt-in to receive their latest informational updates as an optional feature on their website.

Xcel Energy does a great job of using social media to promote their products and educate their customers. They keep their blog updated with engaging posts that entice readers to sign up for email updates.

Potomac Edison is another company who appropriately uses email marketing. They send out timely emails with information that is relevant to their customers.

For example, during the winter months, Potomac Edison sends out an email to customers that offers a free energy audit. This timely email offers customers what they want, when they want it.

At the end of the day, many of its customers in places like Pennsylvania and New Jersey are likely interested in learning how to cut their home heating bills.

About the Author: Amy Morin writes about parenting, psychology and successful business people such as Rob Law.

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Jul 29, 2021

Carbon dioxide removal revenues worth £2bn a year by 2030

Dominic Ellis
4 min
Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades says the UK's National Infrastructure Commission

Carbon dioxide removal revenues could reach £2bn a year by 2030 in the UK with costs per megatonne totalling up to £400 million, according to the National Infrastructure Commission

Engineered greenhouse gas removals will become "a major new infrastructure sector" in the coming decades - although costs are uncertain given removal technologies are in their infancy - and revenues could match that of the UK’s water sector by 2050. The Commission’s analysis suggests engineered removals technologies need to have capacity to remove five to ten megatonnes of carbon dioxide no later than 2030, and between 40 and 100 megatonnes by 2050.

The Commission states technologies fit into two categories: extracting carbon dioxide directly out of the air; and bioenergy with carbon capture technology – processing biomass to recapture carbon dioxide absorbed as the fuel grew. In both cases, the captured CO2 is then stored permanently out of the atmosphere, typically under the seabed.

The report sets out how the engineered removal and storage of carbon dioxide offers the most realistic way to mitigate the final slice of emissions expected to remain by the 2040s from sources that don’t currently have a decarbonisation solution, like aviation and agriculture. 

It stresses that the potential of these technologies is “not an excuse to delay necessary action elsewhere” and cannot replace efforts to reduce emissions from sectors like road transport or power, where removals would be a more expensive alternative.  

The critical role these technologies will play in meeting climate targets means government must rapidly kick start the sector so that it becomes viable by the 2030s, according to the report, which was commissioned by government in November 2020. 

Early movement by the UK to develop the expertise and capacity in greenhouse gas removal technologies could create a comparative advantage, with the prospect of other countries needing to procure the knowledge and skills the UK develops.

The Commission recommends that government should support the development of this new sector in the short term with policies that drive delivery of these technologies and create demand through obligations on polluting industries, which will over time enable a competitive market to develop. Robust independent regulation must also be put in place from the start to help build public and investor confidence.

While the burden of these costs could be shared by different parts of industries required to pay for removals or in part shared with government, the report acknowledges that, over the longer term, the aim should be to have polluting sectors pay for removals they need to reach carbon targets.

Polluting industries are likely to pass a proportion of the costs onto consumers. While those with bigger household expenditures will pay more than those on lower incomes, the report underlines that government will need to identify ways of protecting vulnerable consumers and to decide where in relevant industry supply chains the costs should fall.

Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said taking steps to clean our air is something we’re going to have to get used to, just as we already manage our wastewater and household refuse. 

"While engineered removals will not be everyone’s favourite device in the toolkit, they are there for the hardest jobs. And in the overall project of mitigating our impact on the planet for the sake of generations to come, we need every tool we can find," he said.

“But to get close to having the sector operating where and when we need it to, the government needs to get ahead of the game now. The adaptive approach to market building we recommend will create the best environment for emerging technologies to develop quickly and show their worth, avoiding the need for government to pick winners. We know from the dramatic fall in the cost of renewables that this approach works and we must apply the lessons learned to this novel, but necessary, technology.” 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and International Energy Agency estimate a global capacity for engineered removals of 2,000 to 16,000 megatonnes of carbon dioxide each year by 2050 will be needed in order to meet global reduction targets. 

Yesterday Summit Carbon Solutions received "a strategic investment" from John Deere to advance a major CCUS project (click here). The project will accelerate decarbonisation efforts across the agriculture industry by enabling the production of low carbon ethanol, resulting in the production of more sustainable food, feed, and fuel. Summit Carbon Solutions has partnered with 31 biorefineries across the Midwest United States to capture and permanently sequester their CO2 emissions.  

Cory Reed, President, Agriculture & Turf Division of John Deere, said: "Carbon neutral ethanol would have a positive impact on the environment and bolster the long-term sustainability of the agriculture industry. The work Summit Carbon Solutions is doing will be critical in delivering on these goals."

McKinsey highlights a number of CCUS methods which can drive CO2 to net zero:

  • Today’s leader: Enhanced oil recovery Among CO2 uses by industry, enhanced oil recovery leads the field. It accounts for around 90 percent of all CO2 usage today
  • Cementing in CO2 for the ages New processes could lock up CO2 permanently in concrete, “storing” CO2 in buildings, sidewalks, or anywhere else concrete is used
  • Carbon neutral fuel for jets Technically, CO2 could be used to create virtually any type of fuel. Through a chemical reaction, CO2 captured from industry can be combined with hydrogen to create synthetic gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel
  • Capturing CO2 from ambient air - anywhere Direct air capture (DAC) could push CO2 emissions into negative territory in a big way
  • The biomass-energy cycle: CO2 neutral or even negative Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage relies on nature to remove CO2 from the atmosphere for use elsewhere

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